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Old 23-08-2008, 11:00   #1
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Satellite Radio - Help Needed, Please

I'm a radio guy, but HF and VHF stuff. Never fooled with satellite radios (broadcast); only thing I know about them is that there are two competing providers who are about to merge.

My son wants one, mostly for use aboard his 42' sloop. I understand there are models ranging in price from under $100 to $2500 or so, and at least two levels of monthly service.

Can anyone enlighten me? What should we get for my son's birthday...coming up early next week??

Just a little more info: my son absolutely loves music and stereo stuff....has fooled with it all his life.

Help, please....

Thanks,

Bill
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Old 23-08-2008, 11:54   #2
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Bill, XM and Sirius have merged and the programming is not that different. You can go on their sites and look at what they have to offer and find the one that best carries your sons likes. Most marine radios today are Sirius ready and for a boat he really should have a marine unit as opposed to the auto models purchased at WalMart, etc. The marine units will also give him a better choice for connections to stereo equipment and or additional speakers. We personally prefer Clarion because we have used that brand for some time and have been happy with the product. They also have their own options for connection and sound. There is also the option to receive weather information via Garmin, Raymarine, Furuno, Etc. plotters via satellite radio.
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Old 23-08-2008, 12:11   #3
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I have a Jensen MSR 3007 Sirius unit on the boat and two XM units in each of my cars. The programming is very similar unless you like Howard Stern or a rabid NASCAR fan.

You can go online to each of their websites and listen to their programming to help you decide for yourself which programming you like better.

As far as hardware goes, I don't think it makes much difference at all if you put the automotive hardware on a boat. For a boat you just want to make sure it runs off 12VDC for efficiency reasons.

Getting a little side tracked, one thing about Jensen iPod suitable Sirius receivers is that the built in controller absolutely stinks compared to the iPods controller. Therefore I ended up using the AUX in port (1/8 stereo jack) on the front of the unit instead of the ipod connector which comes from the back. Also, you would think Jensen would have made the iPod connector have the ability to charge the iPod?...It can't! Buying an iPod capable unit and the proprietary iPod/Jensen cable was a waste of money. Just make sure the face or the back of the head unit has an AUX IN port. It does not specifically need to say iPod compatible.
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Old 23-08-2008, 12:27   #4
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Chuck and David,

Thanks very much for the info and recommendations. You are lifesavers....been so busy lately I haven't had time to research the field closely.

Based on your info, and what I could find on the Internet with a quick search, I did go ahead and buy a Clarion unit: Clarion M475 Marine CD/MP3/WMA Receiver.

Hope this will work OK for him. My daughter/son-in-law are planning to buy a year's service for Steve, so he should be all set. RE: speakers, amps, etc., he's got a whole house full; no doubt something will work :-)

Thanks again...problem solved (I hope).

Bill
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Old 25-08-2008, 06:44   #5
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I just bought a little Sirius receiver from RadioShack for $50 (price was $23-30 last time I looked), and plugged the output into the CD jack on my marine stereo. It came with a cigarette jack and cartop magnetic antenna. Reception has been good from Maine to Puerto Rico, including as far east as Bermuda, but it doesn't cover the lower Caribbean. I pay $13/mo for the service, and enjoy the diverse programs. I was surprised to find advertising on a lot of the stations.
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Old 25-08-2008, 07:25   #6
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Many of the cruisers I know just have the cheapest model, I think it's called a Roadie for XM and it works fine also can be used in your car.
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Old 25-08-2008, 08:08   #7
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better reception

believe it or not you can put your antennae in a metal bowl (we use a stainless salad bowl out of the galley) and it will greatly gain your reception. We use XM in all the Aleutian Islands this way....I use the roadie in my bike boat and house......:-)
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